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Monday, February 6, 2012

2012 CSA details!

Hello to all of the Wishful Acres "Farm Fresh" newsletter subscribers!

This email is to provide you with our 2012 CSA program (Community Supported Agriculture) details.  Signup is now open & available to everyone (signup sheet can be accessed on the CSA page of our web site here).  I apologize that those of you who participated in last year's CSA have already received these details, and hope you'll excuse me for the duplication.

In 2012, we'll be expanding our CSA program - if you're unfamiliar with what a CSA is, you can click here to read all about it on our web site: .  CSA farms exist all over the world, it's a great way for a farmer and customer to have an ongoing relationship.  For a set fee, you become a shareholder in our farm's growing seasons and receive a "share" of produce or eggs each week.

If you're not interested in joining our CSA program, but still want to receive our delicious organic vegetables & more...  we'll still be selling at the Freeport Farmers Market (near Higher Grounds coffee shop), and we'll be offering even more options this year at our farm during our farm store hours (we'll even be adding a few U-Pick options this year).

Now, on to the 2012 CSA program details - we're very excited about this upcoming season!!!
Number of CSA Shares Increased
For 2012, we'll be offering 30 organic produce shares and 30 free-range egg shares per week.  This will be any combination of whole shares and half shares, up to a total of 30 full-sized shares each week.  In addition, I'll be offering up to 8 "worker shares", for those on limited incomes or those who would rather work at the farm in exchange for their share.  This is a very detailed program, interested people should read the details of the new worker share program on the farm's web site. 

The CSA share size will be the same as last year, with a full share equaling about 3/4 to 1 full bushel basket (about 1 full paper grocery bag).  In the 2011 fall season, I switched the format for the half shares - they began receiving a full share every other week, rather than a half-sized share every week.  This worked great, and we'll continue with this format for 2012.
CSA Season Extended
We're extending the CSA season for 2012!  Last year, we started in July with a summer share and ran through late November with the fall share.  For 2012, we're adding a Spring Season Share.  This means we'll now have 3 full "seasons" of shares available.  The new seasons will run by the following dates:
-Spring Share: May 11 - July 13
-Summer Share: July 20 - Sep 21
-Fall Share: Sep 28 - Nov 30
Each 10-week share season will feature it's own vegetables that are in season, although some (including lettuce) we'll try to have available every week throughout all 30 weeks of the CSA growing year.  To view this year's vegetables, fruits, and herbs, and learn which season they will be available, you can click here to view the list on our web site.
CSA Pricing, same as last year!
The CSA prices will remain the same for 2012, a half share of produce will be $150 for the 10-week season (full share provided every other week) and a full share of produce will remain $300 for the 10-week season (full share provided each week).  Egg shares will remain at $15 for a half share, and $30 for a full share.  If you signup for all 3 seasons, you'll receive a $20 discount (which will be deducted from your fall season share).  All payments must be received before the starting date of each season's CSA; installments are acceptable but all must be received by the starting date of each season (postdated checks are another option if needed).  If you are signing on for all 3 seasons, you may pay for all 3 at once (but it's not required), or you may simply pay for each season's share by the starting date (May 11, July 20, and September 28).  You'll still receive the $20 off your fall share, even if you choose not to pay for all 3 at once.
Ways to receive CSA share
Now, onto the details of a big change for the 2012 CSA.  There will be 3 ways to receive your 2012 CSA share:
1. Farm Pickup, Friday afternoons 4-7 pm (recommended option, read about the "trade table" below)
2. Farmers Market pickup, Saturday mornings 8 am-11 am, only available during the farmers market season
3. Home/Work delivery to Freeport, Saturdays 11-1 pm. $3 per delivery.
Share Pickup or Delivery options and "Trade Table"
As most of you know, we purchased our foreclosure farm one year ago now (how time flies!).  Last year, the place was a mess.  We were evicting raccoons from the attic, patching holes, re-plumbing, the land needed to be cleared and tilled, and the outbuildings were in a sad state as well.  Basically, the place was not fit for customers.  I'm happy to say that after 1 year of hard work, the farm is in much better shape!  We'll be happy to have customers out here in 2012, and this is one reason we're offering farm pickup this year.  We're currently renovating one of the unused mobile homes to be used as a "customer store" and CSA pickup location (indoors, out of the weather).  Second, I believe there should be some method for our CSA shareholders to do a bit of "customization" with their CSA share.  For instance, if you've tried mustard greens several times and used the recipes provided, but still don't like this vegetable, you should be able to trade it for a similarly valued vegetable.  So... if you opt to pickup your share on Fridays here at our farm, you can use the "trade table".  Each week, you can exchange up to 3 items from your share for a similarly valued item.  Of course, a bag of dill would not be the same value as a large winter squash, so I will have tables arranged and lists available of equal exchange items.
If you don't wish to drive out to the farm on Friday evenings, you can opt to instead pickup your share at the Freeport Farmers Market on Saturday mornings from 8-11 am.  This option is only available during the farmers market season, which typically runs from mid-May through the end of September.  And lastly, if you really enjoyed the Freeport home delivery last year, you can continue that method but the delivery will now take place on Saturdays between 11-1 pm and will cost $3 per delivery. 
The 2012 CSA signup sheet is now available online, by visiting the farm CSA page:  If you're having trouble downloading it, contact me and I can mail you a copy (email or call me at 815-990-2380).
I am so excited and honored to be growing again for the CSA this year!  You, our customers, have made all of this possible.  Thank you!

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